Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Aragon, Deering Get 'Hug' From Hugs Project

Veterans Affairs Secretary
Rita Aragon
Oklahoma Veterans Affairs Secretary Major General Rita Aragon (Ret) and Adjutant General for the Oklahoma Army and Air National Guard Major General Myles Deering will receive an award on Wednesday in recognition of the 1,000,000th "Hug" delivered to troops.

Aragon and Deering will receive the honor from Karen Stark of The Hugs Project in tribute to the 45th Infantry Brigade Command Team, which is due to deploy next month to Afghanistan.

Adjutant General
Myles Deering
 The Oklahoma National Guard will deploy more than 3,200 soldiers from the 45th Infantry Brigade Combat Team, the Oklahoma Stabilization Transition Teams and the 146th Air Support Operation Squadron.

This will be one of the National Guard’s biggest deployments since the Korean War.

The guardsmen will be leaving next month to support Operation Enduring Freedom.

"The tremendous support our Soldiers and Airmen continue to receive from people all over Oklahoma is extremely meaningful," said Deering, the Adjutant General for Oklahoma.

"Our troops in uniform are appreciative of those that recognize the sacrifices they make on a daily basis on behalf of our nation."

The Hugs Project was founded on June 1, 2004 and is based out of Crossroads Mall in Oklahoma City. Care packages containing hugs are sent over to the troops serving in the Middle East.

Said Aragon, “The Hugs Project is one very tangible way we wrap our sons and daughters with our love and affection as they defend freedom in hot and harsh environments. We 'hug' their neck and they feel the welcomed coolness on their skin offering comfort from home. Karen Stark's dedication and devotion to our military allows us all to help reach out to our warriors with a gentle show of support by this gesture of kindness.”

Stark has been the prominent promoter of The Hugs Project and says, “We’re here for them as long as they need us, they give us freedom in return.”

For more information regarding this mission you can contact Karen Stark, Founder and Executive Director of The Hugs Project at (405) 651-8359 or visit the website at http://www.thehugsproject.com/.

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